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Last night a stock image saved my life: four scenarios where stock imagery saves the day

Last-night-hero-final-its-nice-that-anton-gudim
Rosanna_webster_adobe_found_in_stock_itsnicethat_listfinal Sponsored / Found in Adobe Stock Rosanna Webster constructs dreamy, textural collages for Found in Adobe Stock

For Found in Adobe Stock, It’s Nice That has commissioned two creatives to explore the world of Adobe Stock, and make a series of works using their individual discoveries. Starting from the same jumping off point, the project follows the journey each creative took as their paths diverged into the strange and wondrous depths of the huge image, video and 3D library, and how they used what they found to make beautiful and hypnotic final pieces.Rosanna Webster is a London-based collage artist and filmmaker whose work for clients such as Dior, Adidas, Island Records, the V&A and Stella McCartney is dreamy and kaleidoscopic. Starting with fashion portraits and landscape photography, she adds layers of texture, tone and moving image, bringing together a dynamic composition showing the original imagery in a totally new and invigorating way.“I work across mediums, between collage, photography and film for fashion and advertising clients,” she explains. “I’m often asked to bring movement into stills, or to take simple imagery and create a new context for these, building a digital set and breathing new life into images. I like pairing and pulling together colours, textures, and shapes.” Take Rosanna’s repeated work for Dior, for example, where she has used this process to build an atmosphere around catwalk stills and gifs. For Esprit Dior Tokyo’s show, this meant adding close crops of tactile details or futuristic room shots to channel the sci-fi vibe; whereas for Dior’s Resort Cruise show, a palette of pastels, palm trees, blue skies and soft architectural curves gave the apparel a holiday-inspired context.For Found in Adobe Stock_, the artist began at a fork in the road, so to speak. Given the simple brief to explore the library and make a series of works from her findings, she felt drawn towards two initial routes: “either a free-form playful animation of abstracted pattern and colour, or a series of animated collage portraits… we decided on the latter. I wanted to show the calibre of the portrait assets I found. I also wanted to create work solely from Adobe Stock that felt removed from the preconceived idea of what a stock library may offer – for the work to be sensitive and refined.”Rosanna began with a fairly general search, adding detail to her descriptions and using the “find similar” function to dig down through the seemingly endless options and find imagery that jumped out to her. Accustomed to sifting through high end fashion imagery, she flicked through the range of assets and photographic styles, looking for shots that “felt elevated, challenging the idea of the standard of photography you might expect to find.” These span stunning and diverse portraits, sunset-hued landscapes and skies, grand architectural columns and arches, floral and botanical motifs, and patterns and textures found in urban and natural environmental photography.This eclectic bank of imagery was then saved and organised into categorised folders within Adobe Stockcontent=UK&sdid=HQZ6X9M9&mv=affiliate, such as “floral and plants” or “sky”. Then Rosanna moved across to Photoshop, where she could access the folders directly via the Library tab. “This allows you to experiment and try things, then once you decide something works and license the image, this is automatically linked and swapped in to the Photoshop composition – it’s a really streamlined way of working.”The final images feature a combination of still and subtly moving images. “The collages move through various stages, and at some point click into place and feel right. It’s almost like solving a jigsaw backwards, breaking images apart and reassembling these together. I wanted the movement here to be quite subtle, for the gifs to move back and forth almost hypnotically,” Rosanna explains.Image one uses a photo apparently torn and layered with another, revealing a luscious peony opening and closing its petals. Image two fuses another portrait seamlessly with architectural structures, against a backdrop of desert dunes. Images three and four use black and white portraits overlaid with translucent silhouettes of flowers, the former seemingly flickering in dappled sunlight, the latter adorned with a subtle gradient of colour. With the artist’s signature grainy textures and beautiful saturated colour giving the feel of old film photographs, the overall series has a nostalgic and utopian aesthetic.

Natalia_stuyk_adobe_stock_itsnicethat_found_in_stocklist Sponsored / Found in Adobe Stock Natalia Stuyk creates warping, fluid gifs inspired by minerals for Found in Adobe Stock

For Found in Adobe Stock, It’s Nice That has commissioned two creatives to explore the world of Adobe Stock, and make a series of works using their individual discoveries. Starting from the same jumping off point, the project follows the journey each creative took as their paths diverged into the strange and wondrous depths of the huge image, video and 3D library, and how they used what they found to make beautiful and hypnotic final pieces.Natalia Stuyk is first and foremost a video artist, known for her surrealist digital landscapes and super saturated hues. Her commissioned work often comes from the fashion industry, for which she creates films and immersive worlds to add a unique edge to a label’s latest wares. This aspect of her portfolio, however, stems from the work she creates off her own back. “It’s a good calling card,” she explains of her passion projects. “The more personal work I do, the more commissions come in.” That way, she guides her commercial practice in whatever fantastical directions she’d like it to go.With every project she tries something new, taking an element of a previous project that intrigued her most, and running with it in another direction. “It’s an iterative process,” she explains. “This way I’m always adding another tool to my palette.” Rather than letting a project evolve from the start, Natalia prefers to set herself a challenge and then work out how to achieve that aesthetic. “I envisage something and try to get to that point, like puzzle-solving,” she says. This is how she approached the Found in Adobe Stock brief, setting out with the idea to investigate the physical qualities of minerals.“I analysed my usual work, and broke it down to three themes: abstract shapes, manipulated landscapes, and portraits. These are made into warping loops and organic, fluid motions. I started to have a look through Adobe Stock – they have millions of images so it took a while! I proposed a few ideas, but the one I was most excited about was looking at minerals. I’m interested in contrasting textures, colours and shapes, and my work often ends up being a study of the motion of these things. I always find myself imagining how still things would move.”Historically, Natalia would be inclined to develop a series using the same manipulation process for every image. For Found in Adobe Stock, however, there was no fixed theme and the variety of what she discovered in Adobe Stock’s library inspired the artist to apply different techniques to each image. “I ended up extruding and layering them in different ways, using the same mineral basis,” she says. “I mixed and matched images I liked. There were so many mineral images – people like shiny things! I had to stop myself going for typical gems and crystals, so the majority of what I ended up using was agate – they have contour lines going through them that I could use for my images. I was looking for anything that I could instantly visualise moving.”Natalia separated the imagery into groups, and made moodboards to designate them into categories for each final piece. Each image is softened to give the series an illustrated look, and each piece has its own individual source of inspiration. One piece saw her make a tile out of a Stock image, cutting into the tile where the mineral’s contour lines fell and replacing sections of the image with other textures. In another, the artist says she interpreted the image more loosely. “I saw the lines of the mineral like the contour lines over a bird’s eye map of a mountain. Though the shapes are my own. I liked the tonal variation of those images.” For this piece, Natalia stacked and repeated the images using Creative Cloud over 300 layers.One image was inspired by the negative space in gemstones; this, in contrast to the previous image, only featured three layers. One plays with surrealist perspectives, with clouds in the background, alluding to other dimensions; while another refers to time-lapse images of microscopic cells growing.

Its_nice_that_adobe_stock_last_night_anton_gudim_list Sponsored / Found in Adobe Stock Last night a stock image saved my life: four scenarios where stock imagery saves the day

This Summer It’s Nice That is partnering with Adobe Stock on a series of articles that celebrate their collection of over 90 million high-quality images, graphics, video motion graphics, templates, and branding materials. Over the coming weeks, we will be providing an insight into how the Adobe Stock collection can benefit your creative practice.

Ryanskelton-landswalloe-publication-itsnicethat-may_copy Work / Publication Ryan Skelton presents a series of self portraits taken in, and reflecting, each month

Photographer Ryan Skelton is someone who has intrigued us at It’s Nice That for years. It’s the same for the Skelton family in general really, following a brilliant shoot with the whole clan by Hill & Aubrey back in 2016. We saw the Skeltons in caravans, unpacking a hatchback car, out on a walk in their home of Yorkshire, but stylishly dressed, obviously, considering the career of Ryan’s older brother, designer John Skelton.

Johan-elmehag-graphic-design-itsnicethat-list Work / Graphic Design Johan Elmehag’s typeface Coastline warns of the dangers of our melting ice caps

During his teens, it was the natural sciences and maths which occupied Johan Elmehag’s studies. However, in the evenings, he would turn to graphic design as a tool to visually translate his scientific ideas. Eventually the latter overtook the former and Johan headed to Malmö University to study BA Graphic Design, from which he has just graduated.

Sophianarrett-art-int-list Work / Art Sophia Narrett's intimate embroideries explore the complexities of human relationships

Sophia Narrett’s embroideries require you to look more than once; in fact, they will make you stop and stare. With their minute details and beautiful intricacies, they push sewing to the extreme. We question how it is humanly possible to create such miniature, elaborate scenes. “Embroidered images are immediately intimate and visually tactile”, Sophia explains. “The pace that embroidery dictates has become a meaningful way for me to commit to images, feelings and ideas”. The artist spends days working on a single piece; this means that she has time to commit to a narrative and understand the story that she actually wants to tell. As she is making with her hands, there is an even stronger relationship than usual built between her and her art, mimicking the human connections that she recreates within her work.

Jackson-bowley-photography-itsnicethat-list Work / Photography Xerox by Jackson Bowley juxtaposes glossy beauty portraits with gritty texture and tone

“I think subconsciously, and when I really reflect on my photos, my photography tends to be a bit of a projection of my mood,” explains London-based photographer, Jackson Bowley. Originally from the outskirts of Nottingham, Jackson has developed a strong beauty portfolio, shooting for the likes of Notion, i-D, Wonderland and Beauty Papers but it was his evolving personal project, Xerox which really caught our eye.

Tintedwindow-regularpractice-publication-itsnicethat-list Work / Publication Tinted Window dives into one person, place, or object to the point of obsession

Tinted Window is a new publication with an editorial angle that focuses on one person, place or object. Although its subject is very focused, thematically the publication touches on a wide range of areas, tapping into multiple audiences too. Its editors, Oscar Gaynor and Alex Bennett, evidently relish in the details, noting that the publication’s defining feature “is its commitment to exploding its subject; to seeing it from multiple angles.”

Zero-digital-int-list Work / Digital Zero: A new publication that proves print and digital don't have to be mutually exclusive

Zero is a digital and physical publication realised by Dagnė Petraityė, Inês Silva and Nathalie De Vallière of Central Saint Martins. The three creatives noticed that the publications that most inspired them, such as Aspen and Fluxus largely relied on “traditional analogue techniques”. Although George Maciunas incorporated objects into Fluxus, moving beyond the usual format of a magazine or a book, his was a project before the impact of digital technology. Many magazines today still cling to the archaic notion of print, and fail to interact with the internet – Zero aims to change this. “We thought it could be exciting to merge some of the things we love about magazines with more experimental characteristics of digital media”, they explain. The result is an amazing digital platform that explores the infinite possibilities of the internet and a printed, physical product that is “based on an unconventional folding system that mimics the online component”.

Igor-pjorrt-photography-itsnicethat-list Work / Photography Igor Pjörrt’s intimate portraiture is rooted in astronomy and celestial ideas (NSFW)

Born and raised (for the most part) on the Portuguese island of Madeira, photographer Igor Pjörrt’s remarkable portraiture had us transfixed from the first intimately beautiful shot we saw. Currently in the process of moving from London to Lausanne to pursue a master’s in photography at ÉCAL, Igor’s images are dramatic and tender, making use of dappled light and warm sunsets.

Sepus-noordmans-graphic-design-list Work / Graphic Design Graphic designer Sepus Noordmans experiments within flexible formats and parameters

“Working on the Billytown identity last year was a true playground,” explains graphic designer Sepus Noordmans of the project which, last time we spoke to him, was a work in progress. This process saw him getting to know the gallery, which is located in The Hague, in order to establish its identity. Now, the designer has put in place a set of rules which allow him to experiment freely within certain parameters, simultaneously developing a signature approach and visual language for his wider practice.

Badesaison-superframe-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-list Work / Graphic Design More envyingly good graphic design from Swiss studio Badesaison

Long have we gazed and adored the work of Swiss Studio Badesaison made up of Lukas Ackermann and Andreas Sporri. So, when we noticed the studio had created not one but three projects with photographer Thomas De Monaco we thought it was time for a catch up with the busy pair.

Felix-geen-digital-itsnicethat-list Work / Digital Half-Life, The Matrix and Alien: meet the sci-fi inspired motion designer, Felix Geen

It was while scrolling on Instagram that we first discovered the work of motion designer Felix Geen, courtesy of an ident he created for online music broadcasting platform, Boiler Room. Slick and reminiscent of many a sci-fi interface, the short clip sees smoke billowing in various shapes, interlocked with green strobes, eventually forming the Boiler Room logo. Intrigued, we checked out the rest of Felix’s work only to find an impressive roster of 3d videos and digital art.

Giulia-mangoine-photography-itsnicethat-list Work / Photography Photographer Giulia Mangione explores why Danes are the happiest people in the world (NSFW)

“This turned out to be a very personal journey of observing other people’s happiness, to try and understand what happiness means to me,” remarks visual artist and social documentarist, Giulia Mangione, of her series Halfway Mountain. Originally started in 2014 while studying advanced visual storytelling at the Danish School of Media and Journalism in Aarhus, the project explores what it is that sees Denmark, and its Nordic neighbours, consistently ranking in the top three spots in the yearly World Happiness Report.

Williamluz-publication-int-list Work / Publication William Luz's new publication shows how abstract art can sometimes make sense

William Luz makes up one-third of the much loved Nous Vous Collective and has recently released a brilliant publication, The Shape It Makes. Over the past few years, William has accumulated sketchbooks full of abstract forms. These drawings usually act as the starting point for more significant projects, but the illustrator felt that they “had a quality of their own”, which he wanted to expand on. “I’d been trying a few methods to replicate the quality of coloured pencil drawings in print and risograph seemed to do that perfectly”, he tells us. “I got in touch with Tan & Loose Press to see if they’d be into putting a book out with me”.

Rodriguez-photography-int-list Work / Photography Luis Alberto Rodriguez photographs use contorted and twisted limbs to express emotion

Luis Alberto Rodriguez uses the body as a vehicle for communication. As a professional dancer of 15 years, Luis’s photography is filled with poetic shapes and contorted bodies. “I’ve been observing the human form for as long as I can remember," he explains. “Questioning how gravity affects the bones inside our skin, how nothing is ever static, how no gesture is ever neutral”. The photographer highlights, in an almost animalistic manner, how movement is a signifier of meaning. “The endless possibilities of expression is a lifelong quest of mine”, he explains, and the images reveal their emotion through the various twists of limbs. Sometimes we witness pain, with arms lifted to the sky, other times a leg suggests confusion, fear or intense jubilation.

List Partnership / British Council: Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 “Create a flag that represents your own Island” – The amazing entries from the #MyIslandFlag Insta brief

We’ve teamed up with the British Council to create a design brief that explores the themes surrounding Island: The British Pavilion presentation commissioned by the British Council for the 16th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.

World_cup_list Features / Miscellaneous We ask Nadine Redlich, Wieden+Kennedy and more to visualise their highlights of the World Cup

So, the World Cup is officially over for another four years… But what a tournament it was! With 32 teams and a total of 65 matches played across 12 venues, Russia proved itself a worthy host for one of the most entertaining World Cups ever. Packed full of sensational goals, the most expensive tournament to date was also one of the friendliest, bringing people together from all over the world, and allowing the underdogs (see Iceland and, of course, Croatia) to rise, with fewer than ten red cards for the first time ever.

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